New Product – Criminal Law Series

We are thrilled to announce additional digital criminal law content available to all members: Emond Publications award-winning Criminal Law series.

Emond’s award-winning Criminal Law Series offers clear, concise guidance on the practical and procedural aspects of criminal law. Ideally suited for members of the criminal bar and judiciary, this collection covers discrete areas of criminal practice, anchored by the expertise of General Editors Brian H. Greenspan and Justice Vincenzo Rondinelli. Most titles are authored by both defence and Crown counsel, lending balance and comprehensiveness to the series.

Emond.ca

These e-books are accessible by signing in to the member’s portal, clicking on the “Library Resources” on the left hand navigation panel, and then scrolling to the bottom of the page. Don’t miss out on our other resources there, like Rangefindr.ca, a criminal sentencing digest. Go to our “Legal Ease” page for guides on how to use these products if you have difficulty, or contact us at library@lawsociety.mb.ca.

Lawyers and Vicarious Trauma

We recently wrote about the declaration of the Canadian Mental Health Association’s Mental Health Week. Lawyers as a group are notorious for ignoring mental wellness and self care. I came across this opinion piece titled “A more inclusive discussion on the impact of trauma on lawyers’ mental health is needed“, published in Canadian Lawyer Magazine, and thought it was a good way to continue the conversation. It was written by Crystal Tomasiuk, Crown counsel with B.C. Prosecution Services, and discusses the vicarious trauma lawyers deal with in their practice. Having sat in on a couple of criminal trials, I have wondered how lawyers deal with the sometimes horrific facts and scenes they are exposed to.

Vicarious trauma can affect those of any background. As important as it is to recognize our collective vulnerability in this way,  more is needed for a truly inclusive and trauma-informed approach. In particular, we need to face the prevalence of trauma in our society and explicitly address the fact that many of us come to the practice of law having already experienced significant trauma that may shape how our mental health is impacted by the pressures of the profession.

If you feel you’re suffering from vicarious trauma, or just the stress of the profession, the Law Society of Manitoba’s Health and Wellness program offers a free and confidential service for you and your family.

Decision of the Week – Employer Charged With Workplace Fatality

This week’s decision comes from Nova Scotia. I found there were two very interesting facets to it that warranted bringing to the attention of members in Manitoba.

R. v. Hoyeck, 2019 NSSC 7 concerns an employer who was charged with failing to take reasonable steps to prevent bodily harm to an employee. The trial began before a judge and jury, but after two days, the jury was dismissed. After jury selection, one of the jurors sent a note to the judge about investigation into his LinkedIn account by the Crown (para. 3). As noted in this article by Norm Keith at Fasken:

The jury was discharged after one of the prosecutors, Mr. Keaveny was the subject of controversy about his use of social media to investigate prospective jurors. 

Nova Scotia Employer Acquitted in Westray Bill Prosecution

The benefit of this development is there is now additional case law on the subject of the responsibility of an employer in the death of an employee. There is a very high standard of proof required to convict an employer of Occupational Health and Safety criminal negligence. In this instance, the employee was a licensed Red Seal Mechanic and more qualified in his work than the owner. Although Chipman, J. was critical of the employer in his workplace practices:


Based on all of the evidence it is impossible for me to conclude beyond a reasonable doubt that Mr. Hoyeck did anything or omitted to do anything (that was his duty to do or not do) such that he is guilty of criminal negligence causing death.  …

R. v. Hoyeck, para. 94

Supreme Court of Canada in Winnipeg

If you are a regular reader of the Law Society of Manitoba’s newsletter, Communiqué, you’ve probably seen the notice at the back of each issue saying “Save the date”. We’ve known Chief Justice Wagner would be visiting and speaking, but what was just released on May 14th is news that the entire Court would be sitting in Winnipeg. As an SCC fangirl, this is exciting news.

What it means for the library is we will be closed September 25th and 26th to visitors, but we will aim to have remote delivery of services to members. As it gets closer to the date, we will send out notification regarding how you can reach us.

For more information on the SCC visit, here’s a link to the Winnipeg Free Press article (may require a subscription for access).

New Product – American Law Institute Library

Effective April 1, 2019, the library is adding an additional resource to our HeinOnline collection. In addition to the Canada Core Library, we have added the American Law Institute Library.


The American Law Institute is the leading independent organization in the United States producing scholarly work to clarify, modernize, and otherwise improve the law.

The American Law Institute

Instructions on how to access this additional database are included behind the Members’ Portal under “Library Resources”.